Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is concerned with renewable energy technologies. These include biomass, solar, wind, hydro and marine energy. Technical, environmental and social issues are considered. Technical and non-technical barriers and issues limiting widespread use of renewable energy are discussed.

Assessment through laboratory work, use of energy software and group activities give students an opportunity to examine and analyse data as well as to investigate issues concerned with the use of renewable energy.


To provide the student with a knowledge of the technical, environmental and social issues associated with a range of renewable energy technologies.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to demonstrate ability in the following areas:

  • Be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a range of the renewable energy technologies covered, supporting their arguments with quantitative analysis.

  • Be able to assess the technical, environmental and social issues associated with a range of renewable energy technologies.

  • Be able to conduct resource feasibility studies for the renewable energy technologies covered.

  • Be able to undertake the outline specification and design of commonly used concepts for the exploitation of several types of renewable resources.

Additional outcomes:

On completion of this module students will have had the opportunity to:

  • apply their knowledge to the use of software packages and to some practical work.

Outline content:

The underlying science and technical principles necessary for the assessment and analysis of the

following renewable energy technologies:

  • Wind energy (including relevant elements of fluid mechanics)

  • Hydro power (including relevant elements of fluid mechanics)

  • Biomass (including relevant elements of heat transfer and thermodynamics)

  • Solar, encompassing PV and thermal

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be delivered in four intensive teaching blocks, covering the science and technology appropriate for each of the main subject areas outlined above. Each block will be structured to employ a combinations of teaching and learning methods. There will be lectures, laboratory work, software classes, site visits and group learning activities. Site visits may take place outside of the block weeks.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 100
Tutorials 10
Practicals classes and workshops 20
External visits 20
Guided independent study 250
Total hours by term 400.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 55
Oral assessment and presentation 10
Practical skills assessment 35

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Deadlines for the assignments are at various points during the Autumn term.

  • Wind energy assignment (data analysis and report)

  • Hydro power assignment (lab work, problem solving, data analysis and report)

  • Solar energy assignment (lab work, problem solving, data analysis and report)

  • Biomass presentation, review and poster

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Re- submission of failed elements. Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 11 June 2018


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